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EFFECTS OF MATE ATTRACTION AND MALE-MALE COMPETITION ON PATERNAL CARE IN A GOBY

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Individuals should invest energy into current reproduction in relation to the possibility of gaining additional reproduction in the future. This study investigated reproductive trade-offs and paternal care in the two-spotted goby, Gobiusculus flavescens. Specifically, it provides the first experimental test of the hypothesis that increased mate availability leads to an increase in filial cannibalism. We also tested whether filial cannibalism increased with increased cost of care (presence of other males), as might be expected. In addition, we investigated whether conflicting demands (i.e. presence of potential mates and male competitors) results in lower parental expenditure. We found no evidence that male two-spotted gobies caring for eggs adjust their degree of filial cannibalism in relation to mate availability or the cost of care. However, caring males reduced the level of parental care with an increased mating effort, suggesting that they trade care of eggs against the chance of future reproduction. This effect was also apparent when other males were present, suggesting a conflict between direct egg care and defence of the nest.

10.1163/156853903763999890
/content/journals/10.1163/156853903763999890
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/content/journals/10.1163/156853903763999890
2003-01-01
2016-12-09

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